Wednesday 13 December 2017

Return of 1,500 emigrants a week boosts property

'Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion Capital, said the return of workers was a positive development - but it raised questions as to how this will impact on an already dysfunctional housing market' (stock photo)
'Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion Capital, said the return of workers was a positive development - but it raised questions as to how this will impact on an already dysfunctional housing market' (stock photo)
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A surge in the number of returning emigrants - some with significant cash savings for down payments on a new house - has emerged as the latest pressure point in pushing up property prices.

More than 300,000 people emigrated after the economic crash.

But the latest census figures and other trends suggest an average of 1,500 people have been streaming back to Ireland every week.

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers says a significant chunk of house-buyers include those who have returned to this country after years earning overseas.

Some are coming back to well-paid jobs - and with their savings can easily meet a deposit and gain loan approval.

This group also includes a number of cash buyers. Pat Devitt, chief executive of the institute, says some of the retuning emigrants have significant savings.

"There are also people who don't need a mortgage of any description.

''A lot of them are returning home from Canada, America, and Australia, and they can buy a property outright. It's another ingredient in the mix and obviously a factor in pushing up prices."

Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion Capital, said the return of workers was a positive development - but it raised questions as to how this will impact on an already dysfunctional housing market.

"Shortage of supply is critical. Data shows prices grew by nearly 11pc year on year, and I don't see it changing anytime soon, unfortunately. The fiscal measures in the budget are only fuelling things further.

"Certain people returning home have money and are in a position to buy, but the ordinary punter is being squeezed out. Giving people subsidies is not the answer."

This latest development comes as house prices are now shooting up even in the west of Ireland.

In the year to the end of February, the market in Dublin was up just over 8pc, but in parts of the west, prices increased almost 20pc.

Meanwhile, some 82,346 people moved to this country in the year leading up to the census in April last year. Some 28,000 of those moving here were Irish-born, 54,000 were non-Irish. The upward trend in the property market continued in February, with prices up almost 11pc when compared with last year.

Sunday Independent

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